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Trinchero Adding To Hot Brand Success With Fresh Crop Of Small But Growing Brands

October 18, 2011

Trinchero Family Estates has three Impact “Hot Brands” in its portfolio: Sutter Home, Ménage à Trois and Sycamore Lane. Sutter Home, the biggest-volume player of any wine Hot Brand, rose by 12% to 10.36 million cases last year, while Ménage à Trois grew by 30% to 1.78 million cases and Sycamore Lane rose 19% to 567,000 cases. Now, four of Trinchero’s smaller growth brands—Bandit, Joel Gott, Newman’s Own and Napa Cellars—may also be headed for Hot Brand status.

Three of those brands—Bandit, Newman’s Own and Napa Cellars—won Impact “Hot Prospect” awards this year. Bandit grew by 37.3% last year to 169,000 cases, while Newman’s Own was up 28.3% to 86,000 cases. (Bandit and Newman’s Own are joint ventures with Rebel Wine Co.) Napa Cellars, meanwhile, rose by 26.8% to 76,000 cases. Growth has continued this year, according to Trinchero, with Bandit up 27% in the 12 months through September, Newman’s Own rising 14% and Napa Cellars up 26.8%. “Consumers are supporting brands that offer great value, and Bandit, Newman’s Own, and Napa Cellars are all examples of that,” says James Nunes, Trinchero Family Estates’ managing director of marketing.

Bandit is a varietal line packaged in Tetra Pak cartons, and it appears to be benefiting from its eco-friendly packaging, as well as a strong presence in social media, where it connects with outdoor enthusiasts. Bandit retails for $4.99-8.99, in 500-ml. and 1-liter sizes. An off-premise brand, it has a strong following in northern California and the Pacific Northwest, where key retail customers include Fred Meyer and Albertsons. Bandit will launch a Moscato extension this fall, tapping growth in that fast-growing segment.

Newman’s Own is also an off-premise brand, and it’s profited from the increase in at-home consumption. Its high name recognition has paid dividends, Nunes says, adding that Newman’s Own’s food products create cross-marketing opportunities with the wines. Retailing at $12 a 750-ml., Newman’s Own recently added two new varietals, a Merlot and Pinot Noir, and Trinchero credits them with a significant increase in depletions. The strongest markets for Newman’s Own are Florida, California and Texas, with Sam’s Club, Walmart and Kroger among its top retailers. Like Newman’s Own’s food products, from pasta sauce and salad dressing to frozen pizza, Newman’s Own wines contribute back to the Newman’s Own Foundation, which has donated over $300 million to charity. “Cause-based marketing has become important in making purchase decisions,” Nunes says.

The consumer proposition for Napa Cellars is that it offers an accessible price point for Napa Valley wines. Suggested retail pricing is $18-26 for the core varietals and $26-48 for its reserve line. Napa Cellars has a presence both on-premise and off-, with California, Illinois and Massachusetts its top-performing states. Its top retailers include Cost-Plus, Whole Foods, Safeway and Kroger. “Napa Cellars provides quality Napa wines at reasonable prices and we try to portray that in our advertising and communications,” Nunes says. “Our ‘Napa Redefined’ positioning is working to grow the brand, and we’ll be increasing our advertising support this year.”

Meanwhile, Trinchero’s partnership with super-premium California winery Joel Gott, which started in 2009, has added another rising brand to its fold. Joel Gott’s depletions last year reached 166,000 cases, and while full 2008 and 2009 volumes weren’t available, the brand is in growth mode. Trinchero also has embarked on a significant expansion of its import business, recently adding Doña Paula (Argentina) and Carmen (Chile). The company also now imports Avissi Prosecco from Italy and Zibibbo sparkling wines from its Australian partners, Angove Family Winemakers.

Amid all the activity on smaller brands, Trinchero is still giving Sutter Home and Ménage à Trois their share of innovation attention. This summer Sutter Home was extended with Bubbly Moscato, Pink Moscato and Sweet White versions, while Ménage à Trois will soon also add a Moscato to its line. Year-to-date through October 2, Sutter Home is up 6.5% to 3.28 million cases in SymphonyIRI channels, while Ménage à Trois is up 25% to 438,371 cases. Trinchero is also lining up a new brand introduction for this fall, Lock & Key Meritage.


Trinchero Family Estates – Leading Brands
(thousands of nine-liter case depletions)
Percent Change4
Brand 2008 2009 2010 2008-2009 2009-2010
Sutter Home 8,476 9,271 10,358 9.4% 11.7%
Ménage à Trois 911 1,374 1,784 50.8% 29.8%
Sycamore Lane 400 477 567 19.3% 19.0%
Bandit/Three Thieves1 104 123 169 18.4% 37.3%
Joel Gott1,2 68 166 +++ 145.9%
Trinity Oaks 150 144 159 -4.5% 11.0%
Fre (non-alcoholic) 157 155 149 -1.6% -3.8%
Montevina 110 109 104 -0.1% -5.2%
Main Street Winery 159 103 99 -34.9% -4.7%
Little Boomey 144 102 90 -29.1% -12.2%
Newman’s Own1 53 67 86 26.4% 28.3%
Napa Cellars 53 60 76 14.4% 26.8%
Total Leading Brands3 10,716 12,053 13,807 12.5% 14.6%
1 in partnership with Rebel Wine Co
2 partnership with Joel Gott established summer 2009; 2008 and 2009 brand depletions prior to partnership not reflected in totals
3 addition of columns may not agree due to rounding
4 based on unrounded data 


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